Our Beliefs & Values

  • Freedom of Belief: When we stimulate our thinking with new insights and inspirations, our understanding of the world evolves, and we realize the full capacity of our human spirit.
  • Eliciting the Best: It is by acting in a way that encourages the finest characteristics in others that we bring out the best in ourselves.
  • Respect for Human Worth: We treat all people as having an inherent capacity for fairness, kindness, and living ethically.
  • Ethical Living: When we put into practice ethical principles such as love, justice, honesty, and forgiveness, we experience harmony within ourselves and in our relationships.
  • Reverence for Life: We cultivate the spiritual dimension in life by experiencing our interdependent connections to humanity, nature, and our inner values.

Our Mission and Purpose

The Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville endeavors to nurture the capacity and responsibility of human beings to act in their personal relationships and in the larger community to help create a better world. We are inspired by the ideal of working to create a more humane society, recognizing each person’s worth and dignity, and helping to bring out the best in them. We are a member of the American Ethical Union and an affiliate of the American Humanist Association. We join together to assist each other in developing ethical ideas and ideals, to celebrate life’s joys, support each other through life’s crises, and to cultivate ethical behavior in our community

Ethics is Central

The most central human issue in our lives is creating a more humane environment

Ethics Begins with Choice

Creating a more humane environment begins by affirming the need to make significant choices in our lives.

We Choose to Treat Each Other as Ends, not Mean

To enable us to be whole in a fragmented world, we choose to treat each other as unique individuals having intrinsic worth.

We Seek to Act with Integrity

Treating one another as ends requires that we learn to act with integrity. This includes keeping commitments, and being honest, open, caring and responsive.

We are Committed to Educate Ourselves

Personal progress is possible, both in wisdom and social life. Learning how to build ethical relationships and cultivate a humane community is a life-long endeavor.

Self-Reflection and Our Social Nature Require Us to Shape a More Humane World

Growth of the human spirit is rooted in self-reflection, but can only come to full flower in community. This is because people are social, needing both primary relationships and larger supportive groups to become fully human. Our social nature requires that we reach beyond ourselves to decrease suffering and increase creativity in the world.

Democratic Process is Essential to Our Tasks

Personal progress is possible, both in wisdom and social life. Learning how to build ethical relationships and cultivate a humane community is a life-long endeavor.

Life Itself Inspires a Natural “Religious” Response

Although awareness of impending death intensifies the human quest, the mystery of life itself, and the need to belong, are the primary factors motivating human religious response.


What does ethics mean?

Ethics defines the elements essential to human well-being and proposes guiding principles to generate an ethical culture. Ethics also refers to the specific values, standards, rules, and agreements that people adopt for conducting their lives. Ethics, most broadly, is the study of human behavior and its consequences in the light of what is ideally possible. For example, ethicists might study a society’s mores or morals to determine what effect they would have on humankind if they were used as universal standards. Ethics are not merely social conventions, like table manners. Rather, ethics define the social conditions necessary for human beings to thrive.